| Kim Cook |
OUTDOOR living spaces in the United States have come a long way from the days when “outdoor furnishings” meant a few inexpensive folding chairs around a flimsy plastic table.
Today’s outdoor chairs might be wrought iron or wrought aluminum, with upholstered seats. The table might be stone or wood or an elegant faux version of either, and would not look out of place inside in the dining room. Add outdoor sound systems, carpets and lighting, and the backyard or balcony can look and feel like an extension of the home.
That notion gets ramped up this season as manufacturers are offering new furniture, textiles and materials that resemble indoor furnishings yet can withstand the elements.
Getting the right look can be tricky; you don’t want it to seem like you just plunked a sofa from the living room down onto the patio.
Here’s a look at what’s hot for 2015:
VINTAGE MODERN AND ULTRA-MODERN
Watch for midcentury modern styling in outdoor pieces to coordinate with this popular interior style.
Luxe looks evoking old Hollywood are also in. Beautiful on an urban terrace, these pieces are chic and sophisticated, with tailoring details on upholstery, elegant finishes and striking colours.
Global elements stay as strong in outdoor furnishings as they are in indoors: Those Asian ceramic stools show no signs of disappearing, and are offered in more colours and patterns than ever.
Look for Moroccan influence in lanterns, Mediterranean motifs in textiles, and Silk Road accents like elephant-shaped tables, daybeds and handcrafted accessories.
While dedicated dining areas remain popular outdoors, there’s also a trend toward “chat and chill” configurations of furniture. Indoor-style seating includes comfy lounge chairs and sectional pieces that can be grouped or separated, with ottomans, side tables and coffee tables that can also be used for casual dining.
Deep indigo looks fresh and new, and so does coral. Frontgate’s got a cane-print rug in both hues
Dark blue looks nautical and preppy paired with crisp white, apple red or sunshine yellow, so think about mixing things up in a fun way by putting the brighter hues on the furniture pieces — a wicker or Adirondack chair, perhaps – and the blues on accent pieces. Or get a more dressed-up vibe by keeping the pops of colour on accessories while the outdoor space is anchored with darker-toned furniture.
The natural neutrals – sand, mocha, charcoal, cream – stay strong for 2015. Their versatility makes them good choices whatever the climate.
Echoing an interior-design trend, this look combines hand-hewn wood and stone (or facsimiles) and rustic touches like chicken-wire doors and weathered-look metals with contemporary seat materials and colours. (AP)